Alien­ware Ad­vanced Gam­ing Key­board

Pay for the name, stay for the switches

PCPOWERPLAY - - Tech // Reviews - PRICE $ 169 www.alien­

The Alien­ware Ad­vanced Gam­ing Key­board is quite an at­trac­tive bit of kit. Given Alien­ware’s gen­eral aes­thetic it’s a lit­tle un­der­stated; a black, an­gu­lar slab of plas­tic with light­ing around the edges and the blue alien head sit­u­ated in the top right, but that un­der­state­ment is what we like about it. We’re less pleased about the bare­bones pack­ag­ing – there is a padded wrist rest that slides up against the oddly an­gled front of the key­board, but you have to buy it sep­a­rately – and the lack of any back­light­ing, which is very dis­ap­point­ing at the price point. So do we like the Alien­ware Ad­vanced Gam­ing Key­board, or not? The an­swer is a lit­tle of both.

First the good stuff. The key­board is well-built and fea­tures Kailh Brown switches, giv­ing the keys a nice heavy, tac­tile feel. Some might be put off by the heav­ier force needed to de­press the keys but for our money, the Brown are the best of the com­monly avail­able Cherry MX switches and sim­i­larly coloured knock­off. For $169 it’s dis­ap­point­ing that Alien­ware have opted for a Cherry clone rather than the real deal, but the Kailh switches do per­form well. It’s not short on switches ei­ther, with a row of macro keys down the left hand side and three vol­ume but­tons above the numpad. And the bad? Well, ul­ti­mately it all seems to come down to the same root cause – the Alien­ware brand. There are many other key­boards on the mar­ket just as well built, with more fea­tures at the same or a lower price point. It seems like the big­gest premium here is the brand name. Un­less you’re an Alien­ware purist, the Alien­ware Ad­vanced Gam­ing Key­board is not worth the ask­ing price. DANIEL WILKS


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